AMD Launches Sempron on Wednesday

AMD launches its Sempron processor brand today with twelve new processors – eight for desktop PCs and four for laptops. The new processor is aimed at the low-cost PC market, with prices for the Sempron as low as US$39 (€32) in quantities of 1000.

As the chip is on sale now, you can look forward to it showing up in PCs and laptops in time for Christmas.

AMD are keen to maintain the image of their Athlon processor as a quality, high-spec product, so have not produced a low-cost version of flagship product. Instead, the Sempron will allow them to compete in the sub-US$550 (€456) PC market whilst keeping the Athlon brand intact.

John Morris, manager of desktop product marketing at AMD said: “If you look at the brand promise of the Athlon, it’s been about performance computing, so we want to make sure that (chips like the) Athlon 64 continue to stand for performance computing… Sempron reflects a completely different strategy that says, ‘There’s a growing group of people that have basic computer needs…so let’s provide a solution for them.'” However, Sempron will eventually replace the Athlon brand at some point in 2005.

AMD will be offering the desktop processor with the following model numbers: 2400+, 2500+, 2600+, 2800+ and 3100+. The 2200+ and 2300+ are to replace the Duron in emerging markets. Please note that AMD model numbers do not reflect the internal speed of their processors.

The Semprons have lower clock speeds than their Athlon cousins and have a smaller cache, but if they are powerful enough may encourage more PC manufacturers to produce media centre PCs featuring them.

AMD Sempron

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Fraser Lovatt

Fraser Lovatt has spent the last fifteen years working in publishing, TV and the Internet in various capacities, and believes that they will be seperate platforms for at least a while yet. His main interests at the moment are exploring where Linux is taking home entertainment and how technology is conferring technical skills on more and more people. Fraser Lovatt was born in the same year that 2001: A Space Odyssey was delighting and confusing people in the cinemas, and developed a lifelong love of technology as soon as he realised that things could be taken apart, sometimes put back together again, but mostly left in bits or made into something the original designer hadn't quite planned upon. At school he was definitely in the ZX Spectrum/Magpie/BMX camp, rather than the BBC Micro/Blue Peter/well-behaved group. This is all deeply ironic as he later went on to spend nine years working at the BBC. After a few years of working as a bookseller in Scotland, ("Back when it was actually a skilled profession" he'll tell anyone still listening), he moved to England for reasons he can't quite explain adequately to himself. After a couple of publishing jobs punctuated by sporadic bursts of travelling and photography came the aforementioned nine years at the BBC where he specialised in internet technologies and video. These days his primary interests are Java, Linux, videogames and pies - and if they're not candidates for convergence, then what is?